Leinster and Irish out half, Jonathan Sexton admitted yesterday that his loyalty to the province had been questioned due to the ongoing contract negotiations with the IRFU.
At present, the player is still only on a provincial contract and is one of the lowest paid internationals in the current Irish squad. With a new deal yet to be agreed with the IRFU, Sexton has attracted the attention of Stade Francais, who are coached by his former Leinster boss Michael Cheika.
Sexton has made it clear that he wishes to remain in Ireland for the foreseeable future but to date no agreement has been reached between the players representatives and the IRFU over a new improved contract.
“Obviously. It’s my future,” said Sexton yesterday. “Ask any rugby player and they say it’s something they don’t enjoy doing. I’d like it to be sorted, but it’s not and I’ve become used to dealing with it at this stage. What can I do? All I can do is leave it to guys I trust to do it for me. I trust them 100pc to do what’s right. They give me good advice and my family give me good advice as well.
“I don’t really want to go into detail about it too much. I just hope it gets sorted.The only frustrating thing I can talk about is that I play for Leinster and when selected I then play for Ireland. The majority of the time I play with Leinster. But I don’t negotiate with them, it’s got nothing to do with them. So, it’s me and the IRFU who decide whether I play for Leinster. That’s the frustrating thing.
“Your loyalty to Leinster comes into a bit? gets called into question, which is frustrating. I’ve spent enough time thinking about it now to last a lifetime.”